From Niagara to Aporia
Résumé | Extrait
ACTTALIfE/ EXPOSITIONSFrom Niagara to Aporia4fernJ>n%J.À[<mmKevin Kelly, A Reconstructed Landscape. 1989.Diorama, oil on linen; 2,7 x 9,1 x 9,1 m.Photo : Courtesy the artist"Nihilism stands at the door : whence comes this uncanniest of all guests."NietzscheOne might argue that contrary to a recent theoretical project of Jiirgen Habermas1, God has not died and left "a decomposing corpse that emits an insidious effluvium", one penetrating the very psychic core of contemporary society. Granted, a certain unsparing pessimism, a tendancy towards negative abstraction and a vacuous lack of direction permeate the essence of our current ethicotheological orb (and spill over into most fields of endeavour), but this need not necessarily imply demise. It may well be that Habermas, like a number of other depredators, has created a philosophical blindspot, due, in part, to a penchant for privileging poetic imagination (the employ of writing as a predominantly artistic strategy) and a failure to acknowledge early Christian thought as symbolically associated with the central themes (social, political, aesthetic, etc.) of (post)modernity and its (impending) aftermath. The pre-WWII writings of Charles Norris Cochrane, a philosopher/theoretician whose works have remained largely unassimilated into the mainstream ofinternational discourse, do provide an incisive counterpoint to the lament of Habermas2. Through an analysis of Augustine's fourth century doctrine of the "mirror" of the trinity (De Trinitate), Cochrane has located the first stirrings of the emergence of nihilism at the "trembling mid-point between the birth of Christian metaphysics and the death of the disembodied logos of Plato3."From the instant of his conversion in the garden at Cassiacium, Augustine struggled with the inversion of order of Western experience, from one founded on a belief in Platonic rationalism and embodied will, to another calling for absolute faith in the abstract power of a God "who was not there"....
|Auteur :||Allan Pringle|
|Titre :||From Niagara to Aporia|
|Revue :||ETC, Numéro 9, automne 1989, p. 73-75|
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